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Cape Town 2012 Newsletter

Posted By Guru4Travel on Dec 27, 2011 at 4:43PM

The UHOTW team received this lovely update of goings on in CapeTown from our friends Barry and Mina. If you're planning to visit CapeTown, you might be interested in local news from our on the spot team - and perhaps consider staying at their guesthouse. Find out more <here>

Dear Friends,     
Green Point has truly become a wonderful area to be in. Not only is it so centrally positioned to the V & A Waterfront, the Stadium, the city centre, Table Mountain, Camps Bay & Clifton beaches but it has been beautifully upgraded and now boasts a wonderful new urban park.  

This new park was opened earlier this year and happens to be just across the road from Jambo. It has a large lake, fed with piped water from a perennial spring onTable Mountain which is already home to many species of birds.  It is planted with indigenous plants, all carefully labelled. It is not only beautiful but also interesting and educational. One section is devoted to history of the early Bushmen.It has a wonderful children`s play area, a stage, picnic tables and chairs and an exercise area. Soon a Tea Room will be opened as well. The walk through the Urban Park from Jambo to the Mouille Point lighthouse on the beachfront is both exhilarating and enjoyable.  Several events have already taken place in the park - A Walk for Cancer and Carol Singing with a Band are but two examples.

Cape Town can be really proud of how well thought out the park is.  

We have always said that Cape Town is the best city in the world and it seems that many others agree. We recently made headlines in New York, featuring in the New York Times Top 10 list of  "Hip Cities That Think About How They Work"   It reflects cities of the world that aim to be smart and well managed and yet still maintain the vibe necessary to attract the young and ambitious.

It was announced recently that our own Table Mountain is one of the New7Wonders of Nature.  We have always known that it was very special - some even consider it a spiritual place.

Cape Town has also been named World Design Capital for the year 2014.  This will give the city the same positive and influential exposure as did the 1994 elections, the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 soccer World Cup, positioning Cape Town globally as the hub of design and innovation.

Cape Towns' theme, "Live Design.Transform Life" will  make the city better, fairer, more efficient and more liveable for its' citizens and will help find new ways  and better designed responses to shelter, health, services and schooling.

A week later, we made headlines in New York, featuring in the New York Times Top 10 list of "Hip Cities That Think About How They Work".  It reflects cities of the world that aim to be smart and well managed and yet still maintain the vibe necessary to attract the young and ambitious.

There are plans afoot to double the size of the Convention Centre, just 2km from Jambo, as Cape Town is expected to become not only a great place to visit but also a great place to do business.

According to the World Tourism Awards Cape Town is the best city in Africa, this being the 7th time Cape Town has received this award since its' first win in1998.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, just a 15 minute drive from Jambo, has been voted one of the worlds' most beautiful picnic spots according to National Geographic magazine.   Founded in 1913,  it is in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, with more than 7000 plant species in its' 36 hectares.  Picnicking in the gardens has become an enjoyable pastime, especially when the Summer Sunset Concerts are in full swing.

In an attempt to become less of a carbon emitter and more eco-friendly, work has commenced on South Africas' first wind farm near Darling.   Also new is a facility in Cape Town harbour to be used for the construction of the huge rotor blades necessary to drive the turbines.

In our own efforts at Jambo to become more eco-friendly we recently replaced some ill designed solar panels on our roof with the latest technology to heat our water.  The redundant solar panels we have re-configured and linked together and they are now heating the water in our jacuzzi.   They seem to be working well. So, what are you waiting for?  Grab your glass of champagne and come and soak in our solar heated jacuzzi in the garden !

We feel privileged to have been included in a British Publication "Unusual and Unique Overnight Directory", for which we would like to thank Steve Dobson.  It offers truly unusual accommodation all over the world, and Jambo is the only establishment in South Africa.  http://www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/

Cape Town has the highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa.  The Blue Flag status is awarded for High Quality Water, enough Life Guards being present and other criteria.  The beaches are Bikini, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th, Llandudno, Muizenberg, Mnandi, Silwerstroom and Strandfontein.  Cape Town`s beaches rate amongst the best in the world.

Metro Police will increase patrols around ATMs, and on City beaches.  The Equestrian Unit will patrol beaches, Signal Hill and Table Mountain.

Some News from further afield in the Cape:

The town of Sutherland, to the north of us in the Karoo, is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) which has  been operational since 2005.  It was recently re-launched after some parts which had never been running at full capacity, were made ready to run and it is now working  at full throttle. It is a truly phenomenal telescope enabling astronomers to view and learn more about our solar system. Sutherland  has long been known for being one of the coldest places in South Africa. It recently became a lot colder - minus 203 celcius actually, not far above absolute zero.  However this particular coldness was safely contained being part of the KAT-7 radio telescope. The newly cooled units enable us to see much deeper into the universe and to see much fainter objects with greater clarity than before.   KAT-7 is a testing technology for a prototype of the bigger MeerKAT project which in turn is a precursor of the huge Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope that South Africa is hoping to host.  The SKA will enable astronomers to see back almost to the beginning of time, to the 'Big Bang'.

Life in the Karoo has traditionaly been slow and laid back but near Rietfontein things are about to speed up  -  a lot ! Haksteen Pan is a dry lake bed near Rietfontein and a team is building the worlds' longest race track there. 18 km long and 1.5 km wide.

Engineers led by Sir Richard Noble and Andy Green are bringing the BloodhoundSSC in an attempt to break the world land speed record and to travel at more than 1000Mph (1600Kph).  Sir Richard was holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997.   Andy Green is the current record holder at 1227Kph and will be the driver of the Bloodhound.   His day job is a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force, flying Tornado jets.

Another subject dear to our hearts is the ongoing investigation into the lives of the Cape Leopards. Who would have known that we had leopards living wild so close to Cape Town ?   Some years ago Quinton Martins and his wife Elizabeth stayed here, at Jambo, to attend a fund raiser for the Cape Leopard Trust, and ever since then we have been following their continued success in the documenting and monitoring of these wonderful big cats . Earlier this year they reported, after many years of dedicated research, a leopard den site, with twin cubs, located in a remote outcrop high in the Cederberg Mountains.  This really is exciting stuff, to have wild leopards living just a couple of hours drive from us.

Leopards have been found even closer to home. Above the Wemmershoek Dam, near Franschoek in the Cape Winelands, two cubs were photographed with the aid of an infra-red camera. This is only an hour away from Jambo.

You can follow their reports and learn all about the Cape leopards on the website http://www.capeleopard.org.za

Please give them as much support as you can !

After an 11 year absence Air France has resumed flying to Cape Town.  Direct,  non stop flights are planned three times a week from Paris to Cape Town.  Lufhansa has also returned with direct flights from Frankfurt to Cape Town so it is now easier than ever to come and visit us !. Also Edelweiss, the first Swiss Airline to fly into Cape Town, offers a non stop service to Zurich on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Last but not least, some news from our garden.  Since we joined the Clivia Society we have discovered numerous varieties, with varied shaped petals and shades of colour.  Fascinating shade loving plants that make a riot of colour in the late winter when nothing else blooms.

The order of things has changed.  The Wisteria as well as the Carpenter Bees, were late in showing up.  We attribute that to a change in World Weather Patterns.  Like children, we were delighted to discover where the Carpenter Bees dwell.  We saw one very large bee enter a very small round hole in a length of wood below our gutters.  How do they fit in?

The Petrea never fails to amaze with its' stunning purple swathe climbing up and onto the roof.  At the entrance gate two pots contain the sweet smelling coral pink flowers of "Sharifa", a modern version of an old fashioned style rose.  As you step in, another scented rose "Rhapsody in Blue" right next to the pink Moon Flower, which envelopes the whole garden on warm balmy nights with its wonderful scent.  At breakfast guests can eat on our little couryard under the orange Bougainvillae.  Walking through the garden, one guest commented "What is that heavenly perfume?"  and we showed her the almost insignificant blooms of the Port Wine Magnolia, but oh what a scent!  Knockout!

The Koi Fish in the pond are growing at an alarming rate.  The frogs are croaking merrily in the filter, where they insist on staying, but can sometimes be seen on the grass at night.

We spent some lovely days visiting the Darling Wild Flower Show, Duckitts Orchid Show and a day in Ceres picking cherries, with a stop in Tulbagh for coffee and decadent cakes with peacocks strutting elegantly on the balcony and in the garden below.

Although this started off as a Spring newsletter in 2010, as some of you may know, Mina was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2010.  Upon receiving the news, she insisted we take a month`s trip to Israel and a cruise in the Mediterannean.  She was positive throughout and her spirits remained uplifted.  Mina wishes to share with all our dear friends what this experience has taught her:  "Every moment is precious and should be enjoyed and lived to the full".  She is now feeling fine and is well.  However, special heartfelt thanks are extended to her friend Eti Zaroozny, who has accompanied her to every treatment she has undergone.  Thanks also to Tina Cleland, a guest from the USA, who helped her with very good and useful advice.

Our dear staff Cathy and Mandy have been with us for many years now and we hope for many more.  Mandy is now a proud mother again having had a new baby this year. Her son Macwaylin is now 9 months old.   We think of them more like members of our family.

Some sad news is that our beloved cat Ginger is no longer with us as he died this year.  We now only have Tripod who is still as naughty as ever but now with a shortened tail as he lost the end of it.  He just has to sleep under the cars !

It is almost the years end.  On 27th December Jambo Guest House will celebrate its 16th year of welcoming guests to Cape Town.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year. !

Hope to see you in 2012  !

Lots of love

Barry and Mina

JAMBO GUEST HOUSE

Tourism Grading Council of SA - 4 Star Guest House
Graded AA Superior Accommodation
Winner AA & SAA Guest House of the Year - 2000,2001 & 2002
AA Travel Guides "Steady Star" 2005 for outstanding
services to the tourism industry
AA Travel Guides Hall of Fame 2003,2004,2005,2006,2007 & 2008

For the National Geographic view of what to do in CapeTown <Click here>


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